GIC Rates Update 2018-12-03

I’ve created a new page to track the best GIC rates. Click Here for the latest GIC Rates.

The list of the best GIC rates is created by surveying the best wholesale GIC rates offered at major Canadian brokerages (RBC, CIBC, TD, BNS, BMO). The GICs quoted on my GIC Rate Sheet can be obtained from either a full service broker or by using a discount brokerage account.

The highest rates on GICs for 1 year is 2.72% and for 5 years is 3.45%, which means the yield curve is pretty flat (not much extra interest can be earned by tying up your money for a few years). Its also worth noting that the rate on 1 year GICs has risen a bit over the past year along with interest rates in general.

Click Here for the latest GIC Rates.

It’s worth noting that higher GIC rates can be obtained in some cases by holding an account directly with the issuer. This is true for most GIC offered by mortgage banks such as Home Trust (Oaken Financial), Equitable Trust, etc. Investors will generally find that they can obtain about 0.25% better rate by going directly to the issuer, this is because the broker offering third party GICs for sale (i.e. when RBC offers Canadian Tire Bank GICs) the broker receives a 0.25% commission. At least part of this commission is absent when you buy a GIC directly from the issuer. This fact isn’t universal, but its worth keeping in mind. Each investor will need to decide what trade-off they are willing to accept between admin the burden of holding multiple GIC accounts, and the lower/higher rate.

Its also worth noting that if you’re focused on only holding GICs from major banks (RBC, TD, BMO, CIBC, BNS), you will usually find the rate you can obtain from inside your brokerage account will be better than the rate you can obtain from the retail branch of the same institution. For example, RBC offers wholesale GICs through brokers at 2.61% for 1 year, but retail depositors at the bank branch, can’t even earn 2% at a branch. The bottom line is serious Canadian investors should usually purchase GICs through a broker rather than a branch banker.

Fantasy NHL Hockey, Day 10

Last night I lost again, I still have not won anything on FanDuel, but I feel like I’m making progress.  Last night each one of my players earned fantasy points. I also feel like my process is beginning to take shape.

On the goalie side, my goalie last night booked a win for his real life team, so that earned my fantasy team an extra 12 points. My goal recently was to have my goalie at least get this 12 point bonus, and the strategy to achieve this so far I believe is to draft a goalie from a team most likely to win their game, based on the sports book odds. But what was interesting last night is although my goalie won his real life game, the opposing goalie actually scored about the same number of fantasy points since the opposing goalie made about twice as many saves. So I’ve learned that winning the game is only one part of the best goalie score, your goalie also has to also make a lot of saves, which basically means they must face a lot of shots. This leads me to want to also pick a goalie when their opposing team is likely to have a lot of shots on goal.

Click here to view an ESPN page that lists shots on goal stats.

So tonight, the teams most likely to win are: Bruins, Habs, Pens, and Preds. The Pens are playing the Flyers, which are likely to shoot an average number of times. So I’m drafting my goalie from the Pens starter.

I’m no longer going to place any hedge bets, the basis is too much and I can’t be bothered to calculate the right amount, and I’m paying implied vig whenever I place a bet anyway.

I’ve automated some of the spreadsheet work that goes into creating my lineup, basically I’ve written a few macros. I’ll post my spreadsheet to future posts once I clean it up a bit.

This is my strategy right now:

  • pick a starting goalie from a team likely to win
  • pick a starting goalie from a team likely to face a lot of shots
  • list three games with the highest chances of going over the most goals, and restrict my players to those games
  • download the players list from FanDuel into excel
  • remove/hide the columns for ID, first name, last name, and the column for each individual team
  • make data a table
  • remove all injured players
  • create new column to calculate price/FPPG
  • calculate and sort by price/FPPG
  • calculate the average games played, and remove all players with less than average
  • draft players starting from lowest price/FGGP until a team can be drafted
    • filter out any players with less than 70% of the average salary remaining after drafting a goalie
    • skip players after you’ve filled their position
    • for the final pick, skip all players whose price is higher than what’s left to draft

 

My results after last 1 entries:

DraftKings 0

FanDuel -$1.00

Hedging -$1.00

Total -$2.00

 

Overall:

DraftKings +$0.80

FanDuel -$7.00

Hedging +$1.11

Total -$5.09

Fantasy NHL Hockey, Day 9

Last night I lost at DFS hockey again, $2 dollars spent on two $1 contests. One contest was a double up, and another contest was a 3 – 100 player contest. Tonight I’m going to play a $1 51 entry GPP where the top 16 (top 31% of entries) pays out.

I don’t think any of my goalies has won a game, which in some cases would have pushed me into the money. I’ve got to get better at tracking results in a standardized way, so that I can evaluate what I’m doing more rigorously.

This is my strategy so far:

  • pick a starting goalie from a game that I will watch
  • bet $1 against the opposite team of my goalie
  • list three games with the highest chances of going over the most goals, and restrict my players to those games
  • download the players list from FanDuel into excel
  • remove/hide the columns for ID, first name, last name, and the column for each individual team
  • make data a table
  • remove all injured players
  • create new column to calculate price/FPPG
  • calculate and sort by price/FPPG
  • remove all games except the three most likely to go over
  • calculate the average games played, and remove all players with less than average
  • draft players starting from lowest price/FGGP until a team can be drafted
    • filter out any players with less than 70% of the average salary remaining after drafting a goalie
    • skip players after you’ve filled their position
    • for the final pick, skip all players whose price is higher than what’s left to draft

This basic strategy fills a lineup.

My results after last 2 entries:

DraftKings 0

FanDuel -$2.00

Hedging $0

Total -$2.00

 

Overall:

DraftKings +$0.80

FanDuel -$6.00

Hedging +$2.11

Total -$3.09

 

To do’s for next game:

  • write a macro to do the filtering with a spreadsheet

Fantasy NHL Hockey, Day 8

I have not yet found a winning DFS strategy. I’ve been playing NHL daily fantasy on FanDuel for the past 8 days, but I haven’t won anything. In fact, I’m actually 0 – 11 all-time on FanDuel. I literally have not cashed in 11 tries.

So it’s back to the drawing board. Since my last post, I’ve played 3 $1 GPPs. One 51 entry GPP, and two contests with 31 entries each, click here, and here to view. The results from my goalies were terrible in all these contests. It wasn’t much help that my hedges cashed in, I was still a loser overall.

My results from last 3 entries:

DraftKings 0

FanDuel -$3.00

Hedging +$0.96

Total -$2.04

 

Overall:

DraftKings +$0.80

FanDuel -$4.00

Hedging +$2.11

Total -$1.09

Parimutuel pool payout example

This post shows how the payouts of a parimutuel pool are calculated. Parimutuel betting is a type of betting where payouts are determined by the amount bet on each outcome.

Click here to view the parimutuel pool described in this post. The pool is hosted by CoinRoster.com and it uses bitcoins as currency.

The parimutuel pool described below asks “which fantasy lineup will get the most points”. The pool lists three fantasy lineups with four players on each lineup, and “tie” as a fourth outcome if the top score is a tie. The total amount bet in the pool was 0.00061020 bitcoins, which was worth about $2.13 at the time of writing.

Here are the amounts wagered on each outcome:

Wagered Implied Odds Implied % Probability
Lineup 1 0.00015510 3.93 25.42%
Lineup 2 0.00043510 1.40 71.30%
Lineup 3 0.00001000 61.02 1.64%
Tie 0.00001000 61.02 1.64%
Total 0.00061020 100.00%

Based on the amounts wagered on each outcome, we can determine that if “Lineup 1” wins, then wagers on that outcome will get paid out at 3.93x their initial wagers. So a wager of 0.00001000 bitcoins wagered on Lineup 1 will be paid out 0.00003930. The odds imply that Lineup 3 and Tie are the least likely to occur, while Lineup 2 has the best chance of happening.

Click this link to view the actual pool, and you will notice the odds displayed at CoinRoster.com are a bit less than my example above. That’s because CoinRoster rakes 5% of the pool as their profit. To calculate the post-rake odds, simply multiply the inverse of the rake by the true odds = (odds * 0.95%).

Finding a Winning DFS Lineup

Today I’ve entered two lineups for $1 each on FanDuel, and I’m trying something a little different. Today I focused on goalie selection, and instead of taking the common beginners approach which seems to be drafting a goalie from a team most likely to win, I’m drafting goalies from the team most likely to lose. Does this sound crazy?  Maybe it is.

My logic is that is most users are drafting goalies from the teams most likely to win, those goalies will be more expensive than the average, but they will also likely be the highest owned.  So even if I do garner lots of points from the goalie on a team most likely to win, I’ll simply cluster with the rest of users who did the same. And the only way to break into a the top spots is to have lineups that are both high producing and also unique, and maybe this requires taking a bit of risk with some long shots.  I’m looking to own players from teams least likely to succeed.

In the background, I’m looking for ways to hedge my risk. I’ve bet $1 on Bodog for the two underdog teams my goalies are on, maybe this will soften the blow if it turns out my underdog goalie picks are duds? I’d love to hear your opinions on this strategy, please leave your comments to this post.

This strategy might only work for GPPs with larger fields. For cash games, it still might make the most sense to cluster your lineups with players at the best value, regardless of ownership %.

I also wonder if by hedging with sports bets, I’ll be able to save some of my salary caps by drafting cheap players are teams likely to loose, that I can use to spend on some more expensive players?

How to Track Starting NHL Goalies

If you’re a fantasy hockey player, you need to know which goalie will start each game. Its like knowing who the starting pitcher in baseball will be. It makes a big difference to the odds of the game and the goalie fantasy points which goalie is actually playing.

Finding a reliable way to track starting goalies is essential to being a competitive player. I use dailyfaceoff.com. The site is free to use and they have a specific page for goalie lines.

dailyfaceoff.com also has pages that show likely line combinations, so if you are stacking your lineups with players from the same line, or if it matters who will likely be on the powerplay and penaltykill, the use this link to their line combos page.

One of the criticisms that I have for dailyfaceoff.com is their site is a bit heavy, load times should be reduced in my opinion.

CoinRoster DFS & Betting Summary

I’ve been playing DFS NHL hockey on CoinRoster, a bitcoin fantasy sports site. Click here to view the contests for tonight. I’ve also posted moneyline odds on tonight’s hockey game, you can view these odds by clicking here.

I’m going to try posting hockey moneylines each night. CoinRoster gives users the ability to become their own bookie by allowing them to create their own odds. Users can do this by clicking the CREATE CONTEST button, and then creating a MISC contest, and choosing the fixed odds option. CoinRoster does not rake fixed odds contests, so its up to the contest creator to post odds that make sense. As a user, you might also find stale and weak lines because its individual users like myself who are posting the odds.

Users can also create their own fantasy contests with custom scoring rules by clicking on the CREATE CONTEST button.

Last night I successfully won the fantasy hockey contest on CoinRoster. I entered a number of unique rosters, most at 10x per roster. You can view the results by clicking here.

 

Fantasy NHL Hockey, Day 2

Below is a tally of my daily fantasy hockey results from last night (Nov 19, 2018). It was a fun first night of fantasy NHL hockey, I really enjoyed the sweat, even if it was for a small amount.

My FanDuel lineup narrowly missed the money. The low scoring game between the Kings and the Blues had an impact on the results of my goalie (Jake Allen STL) and also my Centre (Brayden Schenn STL). The Blues were shutout in a 2-0 loss to the kings, so Schenn didn’t garner many points, and Jake Allen didn’t get the extra 12 points for a win. The contest I entered on FanDuel had 51 entries with the top 10 making the money, and I finished 17th, if Jake Allan would have won, it would have put my roster in solo 4th and a 4x win. As it stands, I finished in the top 33% of entries (17/51) out of the money.

My DraftKings lineup finished in the money, and it was also a smaller field. My single lineup out of 10 finished second, for a payout of 1.8x. This contest was a DraftKings style “Double Up” where the top half of entries get 1.8x. I find this kinda lame because I’d rather get a full 2x.

Another aspect to note, since I had Jake Allen from STL as my goalie, I decided to also bet $1 on the Kings, as a rough hedge. The Kings won, so I also won $1.15 from this hedge.

 

My results from last night:

DraftKings +$0.80

FanDuel -$1.00

Hedging +$1.15

Total +$0.95

 

Overall:

DraftKings +$0.80

FanDuel -$1.00

Hedging +$1.15

Total $0.95

 

Tonight there is only one game being played, and its a late game 10:30 EST between Oilers at Sharks. The Sharks are favourites, so I guess I should draft mostly Sharks players. The format of tonight’s games are a little different on DK & FD because of only a single game, there are no goalies to draft on either site. On FanDuel, you can name a captain whose points are given a 1.5x bonus.

DraftKings vs Fanduel NHL Scoring

This post compares the differences between scoring formats on DraftKings and FanDuel.

Click Here to view DraftKings Scoring Rules

Click Here to view FanDuel Scoring Rules

 

DraftKings FanDuel CoinRoster
Players
Goals 3 12 12
Assists 2 8 8
Shots on Goal 0.5 1.6 1.6
Blocked Shots 0.5 1.6 1.6
Short Handed Point Bonus 1 2
Power Play Point Bonus 0.5
Shootout Goal 0.2
Hat Trick Bonus 0.5
Plus/Minus 2
Goalies
Win 3 12
Save 0.2 0.8
Goal Against -1 -4
Shutout Bonus 2 8

 

The first difference I notice between fantasy NHL scoring between DraftKings and FanDuel is how they treat Goals & Assists. FanDuel scoring awards 4x points for Goals & Assists, but only 3.2x more for shots on goal & blocked shots. This means that your DraftKings lineups should be tilted towards players with better shooting percentages, and/or players who are on special teams (power plays and penalty kill) since relatively speaking, the points for shots & blocks (which are more likely on special teams) have a higher weight on DraftKings compared to FanDuel.

FanDuel also awards points for a stat which DrafKings does not, and 2x for short handed points. These points are both related to special teams. So your FanDuel lineups could be heavier on players who are more likely to be on special teams compared to your DraftKings lineups.

Otherwise, the differences between DraftKings and FanDuel on how they treat goalies is the same (4x for all points on FanDuel).

I find the points awarded on DraftKings for players who get a shootout goal kind of annoying, as I’m not even sure how to estimate the likelihood of a shootout occurring. I guess users can view the Method of Victory odds on a sportsbook such as William Hill. For example, I see that the odds of either team winning in a shootout for the game on Nov 11, 2018 between Oilers and Sharks is 21/1 for each team, this means there is a less than 10% chance of a shootout occuring? = ((1/21) * 2).